Obesity is “Socially Contagious”


I was reading a recent article when I came across a recent study, which suggested that obesity could be passed from one person to another. This means that if your friends or family get fat, chances are you will too. This astounding result is based on the fact that social ties influence our eating choices rather than individual food choices. Having friends and families who are obese often changes our perception towards body changes even when friends and families live a long distance away from us.

After reading this article, I really thought about it and tried to see if these social ties also affect our attitude towards money. I spoke with some of my friends during the week and we came to the conclusion that our social tie is directly linked with our attitude to money. For instance, if your friends and family are constantly in the habit of living above their means, chances are you will too. Eating and munching without consideration increases your waistline and also depletes your wallet gradually.

My current circles of friends range from the “Joneses” wanna be, frugal or the one I call “the wreck spender”. From this circle of friends, I have learnt how to save for the future and how to avoid stupid money mistakes. Do you constantly surround yourself with friends who are always eating out at fast food joints or indulge in excessive smoking and drinking habits? You can suggest a cheaper alternative by inviting them over to your apartment or ask people to bring a piece of the meal you intend to prepare. You can also suggest the idea of quitting these bad habits using a gradualist approach.

Do you have friends who are constantly shopping incessantly, you can either decide to carry smaller bills like N1,000 and also suggest window shopping as a cheaper alternative.

3 thoughts on “Obesity is “Socially Contagious”

  1. Matt says:

    Your social ties totally impact your financial life; I remember when I was younger and going out all the time it was just something we did. We wouldn’t think of alternatives, one of us would suggest going to dinner to one place or another and we would go. Some, not all, of your spending habits will undoubtedly be influenced by your social situation and ties.

    I like your suggestion of learning from your friends and suggesting alternatives rather than just spending.

  2. Hassan Olaniyi says:

    I just can’t avoid the rich columns on your website. They are soul soup for the mind. I initially couldn’t beleive it was a nigerian site. It is a good work to put us (nigerians) on the right track of frugality and abstenence from wastefuless. Keep it up.

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